Pets

Why owning a dog or cat may force you to retire later

Attention all pet parents.

By Amber Manto

So you think you’ve been doing everything right, making extra super contributions so that you can retire comfortably, but there’s one thing which might not have accounted that will chew considerably through your super nest egg - your pet.

Us dog and cat owners are under no illusion that our furry mates come cheap but new Australian research has now uncovered to what extent that rings true – and it’s a doozy of a figure.

According to the study, owning a dog costs about $1818 a year (this includes food, grooming, vet bills etcetera) while a cat is slightly cheaper at $1339. This is fine when you’re working but what about when you hit the golden ticket age when super is payable? You’re going to have to have enough in the bank in order to sustain your lifestyle, and your pet’s lifestyle.

The study estimated this will equate to needing an extra $36,360 at retirement if you’re a dog owner and $26,780 if have a cat, That number, of course, will increase if you have more than one pet.

On the flip side owning a pet can have considerable health advantages including boosting your immune system and helping you get better sleep.

“Research has shown that owning a pet can have a number of physical health benefits, including increased cardiovascular health, increased physical activity and fewer visits to the doctor," Dr Liz Walker, RSPCA Victoria’s CEO, tells The New Daily. “Dogs, especially, help us enjoy the outdoors while getting some regular exercise.

However, if you are worried about the costs then consider adopting a fish or budgie as these will only require you to save an extra $1200 and $2400 respectively to cover their costs at your retirement. Bargain really.